So you're either considering that special guy for a prospective relationship--or you're already in one. However, is he quite what he seems? Where is the easy-access advice about how to proceed, and which information is the most reliable? It is always a good idea, especially if you see yourself one day being committed, to acquire some form of knowledge on the mystery of your teenage boy.
- See a website. The internet is a quick, convenient, private and easy way to access all sorts of information. For peer-to-peer advice, one of the best sites out there is Girland (see link), notably the Problem Pages. Signing up is required to post a problem, but free and well worth it. Although you choose a user name when signing up, you can post any problems anonymously and generally receive quick replies (within a few minutes) by a large base of international members. For more professional advice, Go Ask Alice (see link) is highly recommended, and extremely user-friendly; for any form of teenage advice, I would advise you to pay it a visit.
- Find a 'parallel personality.' Identify one of your friends or relatives as a 'parallel' to the boy you are dating or considering: For instance, if you are dating a sixteen-year-old boy, seek out your closest sixteen-year-old male friend, or even your sixteen-year-old male cousin! Even better is if you can match their interests and components of their personalities. Gain an insider's view; this will also help you to empathize in possible future disputes between your boy and you.
- Speak to his friends. Do this with caution. Remember that his friends' loyalties lie with him, so they will protect his reputation and are unlikely to impart much substantial knowledge. Don't outright announce your intentions to them, and don't judge him too harshly on how he acts around them. They are useful for limited information and necessities, such as the date of his birthday and which sport he enjoys, but never take his friends' perspectives as 100% real.
- Speak to a mutual female friend. You need to speak to someone who sees things on your level and in your perspectives; enter the female friend. The good thing here is that she knows him too, so she won't believe biased comments that you make in the event of an argument or an obsession. However, make sure that her friendship leans either more heavily toward you, or is at least mutual, lest you end in a situation wherein every word you say gets back to him. Treat this source of knowledge and advice with care and gratitude. DO NOT under any circumstances formulate a 'middle man' for your relationship.
- Converse with friends in relationships which are on roughly the same scale as yours. Certain points in relationships produce certain trends; at the beginning or before one is properly formulated, everything will most likely drive you crazy. By three months, however, you will likely be experiencing your first major argument. Seeing this happen--and getting resolved--is healthy and reassuring. Chances are, although everyone is unique, a friend in the same stage as you with a boy will be experiencing the same bumps (and thrills) as you and will prove a veritable source of knowledge.
- Read magazines. Do this again with caution and consideration toward individuality. Magazines generalize both the male and female population as they aim for mass sales; a lot of what they preach may not apply. However, some tips are universal and helpful; just make sure you pick a media source which isn't incredibly sensationalist, and roughly matches your perspective on life (meaning it will also hopefully correspond with your ideas on dating.)
- If you are close, talk to your parent(s.) Whether they are or were married, your parent(s) have experienced the ups and downs of relationships, and have a heck of a lot of hindsight. If you have a good relationship, there is no reason why you shouldn't question them and mention your dating concerns; it will not only help them to further understand you, but will be extremely beneficial. Remember: they've been there and done it, and then some.
- Talk to the boy himself! Nothing is better in friendships, dating, relationships or even marriages than good communication. Everyone's unique, and only he can tell you the specific and detailed information that really matters. Dating a hardcore sports fan is different than dating a computer enthusiast, so bite the bullet and have a long, meaningful conversation. Trust me when I say both of you will benefit hugely from it.